April 27, 2012
Minnesota capped off Friday night’s Drake Relays with an incredible performance in the 4x800 relay. The Gophers relay team of David Pachuta, Travis Burkstrand, Nick Hutton and Harun Abda for the second consecutive year won the title. The group clocked in at 7:19.02 on a very chilly and windy night inside Drake Stadium.
“What a tremendous team effort in some very tough conditions for our 4x800 relay,” assistant coach Paul Thornton said. “The guys did a very nice job working together and all ran very well.”
Minnesota’s 4x100 relay team qualified for the finals tomorrow afternoon after an impressive 40.63 race. Baylor edged out the Golden Gophers by a blink of an eye, as they clocked in at 40.62. The two teams along with Iowa State (40.64) and Georgia (40.65) will be the relay groups to watch out for on Saturday. The Golden Gopher relay team consists of Jacob Capek, Sean King, Cameron Boy and Oladipo Fagbemi.
Also moving on from the prelims was the Gophers 4x400 relay team, who qualified for tomorrow afternoon’s final with a seventh place finish. Capek, Harun Abda, Boy and John Holton ran a time of 3:09.83, for the seventh best time.
Jack Szmanda cleared 17-4 ½ (5.30m) to finish third overall. Szmanda matched a season and career high mark. The junior just last week vaulted the same height in a decatholn event.
The Gophers picked up a top five finish in the 4x1600 relay earlier in the day. Sean Olson, Matt Volz, Bob Nicolls and John Simons finished third overall with a time of 16:50.07, on a cold and windy afternoon.
Trey Davis finished seventh overall in the shot out with a toss of 58-0 ½ (17.69m) for Minnesota.
Action for the Golden Gophers begins tomorrow morning with the discus throw. Davis and Dominique Howard are scheduled to throw for the Maroon and Gold.
‘U’ Alum Siegmeier Joins Gophers Staff
A two-time All-American and three-time Big Ten champion, Zach Siegmeier will serve as director of operations for men's track & field and cross country.
Blankenship, Mead Shine in Olympic Finals
Mead and Blankenship recorded the best Olympic finishes by Gophers since Staffan Strand finished sixth in the high jump for Sweden during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Blankenship Punches Ticket to Olympic Final
Ben Blankenship (1,500) and Hassan Mead (5,000) will run in Olympic finals on Saturday night.